Hydrographic Crewing Divisions

The RAN Australian Hydrographic Service has responsibility for charting more than one eighth of the world's surface, stretching as far west as Cocos Island in the Indian Ocean, east to the Solomon Islands, and from the Equator to the Antarctic.

The nautical charts developed from data gathered by the Hydrographic Service are essential for safe navigation at sea.

Around Australia, less than half of the area has been surveyed to acceptable standards, however the two Leeuwin Class ships, with multi-beam echo sounders, will greatly reduce this figure, making passage of vessels safer and further protect Australia's ocean environment.

The Leeuwin Class Hydrographic Survey ships were multi-crewed, with three crews rotating through the two ships (HMA Ships Leeuwin and Melville) from the year 2000 until October 2018, when they switched to single crews with HS Red taking over onboard HMAS Leeuwin and HS Blue taking over onboard HMAS Melville.


Division Crew Commanding Officer
WHITE Lieutenant Commander Peter Locke
BLUE Lieutenant Commander Dean Battilana
RED Commander Richard Mortimer

HMA Ships Melville (left) and Leeuwin (right) at HMAS Cairns naval base.
HMA Ships Melville (left) and Leeuwin (right) at HMAS Cairns naval base.